NSW wild weather narrows Whitehaven targets

Whitehaven Coal

Image: Whitehaven Coal

Whitehaven Coal has updated its production guidance after setbacks including New South Wales’ wild weather disrupted its transport routes.

The company has reduced its managed coal sales target for the 2021 fiscal year by around 5 per cent as a result of damaged shiploaders and flooding in New South Wales, potentially disrupting workforce movements and product haulage.

The Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG) also suspended shiploading at the Port of Newcastle due to structural faults to shiploader SL1, with repairs to be completed within a fortnight.

This comes after a storm in November 2020 put SL2 out of action until the fourth quarter of 2021.

Since last year’s storm, Whitehaven has redirected most ships to Port Waratah to avoid the queue of 40 ships at the Port of Newcastle.

The recent floods in New South Wales have not directly affected any Whitehaven coal sites.

Whitehaven has lowered its run-of-mine coal production guidance by less than 5 per cent as the Maules Creek and Gunnedah operations in New South Wales tempered a slow upstart to the Narrabri project, also in New South Wales.

The company expects higher production at Maules Creek and Gunnedah at 12.2-12.4 million tonnes (previously 11.8-12.4 million tonnes) and 3.9-4.1 million tonnes (up from 3.8-4.1 million tonnes), respectively.

“We have updated FY21 (2021 fiscal year) guidance to take into account the above matters as well as strong recent production performance at Maules Creek and a slower than expected ramp-up of production at Narrabri following the mining through geological faults in (the second and third quarters of) FY2021,” Whitehaven stated.

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